Purdue came in as a 13 1/2-point underdog, but the Boilermakers have stunned the TCF Bank Stadium crowd, taking a 31-20 halftime lead. A few thoughts:
* Under Jerry Kill, the Gophers are 0-22 when trailing at halftime, 19-0 when leading at halftime, and 0-3 when tied.
* Minnesota’s defense over-pursued on some costly plays last week against Northwestern but still held the Wildcats to 17 points. Purdue studied that tape and has taken advantage – big time. The Gophers look shell-shocked on defense. Austin Appleby threw an interception on Purdue’s first offensive play, but the Boilermakers have scored on every possession since then.
* Minnesota’s early momentum changed on a big two-play sequence. Appleby threw another interception that would have been a pick six for Damien Wilson, but Theiren Cockran was flagged for offsides. On the next play, Appleby hit Danny Anthrop on a swing pass, and Anthrop raced 55 yards for the tying touchdown.
* The Gophers had a big officiating call go against them in the second quarter with Purdue leading 21-20. Anthrop appeared to catch a slant pass deep in Minnesota territory, and Antonio Johnson made a big hit, knocking the ball loose. Cedric Thompson picked up the ball and ran out to mid-field, but the officials blew the play dead as an incomplete pass. On the replay, Anthrop appeared to catch the ball and take two steps, but the play was upheld as an incomplete pass. Purdue turned that into a 26-yard field goal.
* David Cobb has 17 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.
* The Gophers must have seen on tape that Purdue will bite for fakes on the zone read. Mitch Leidner has had several big runs after faking a hand-off. He has five carries for 55 yards.